28 Mar 2016

Nauru asylum seeker protest enters second week

8:03 pm on 28 March 2016

A protest by asylum seekers held by Australia in Nauru has entered its second week.

Asylum seekers in Nauru

Asylum seekers in Nauru have been protesting over application delays. Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

The asylum seekers' action is over delays processing their applications. Some people have been detained on the island for more than 1000 days.

In October, the Nauru government announced it would finalise the claims within a week.

Last week, Nauru's justice minister, David Adeang, told a conference in Bali that Nauru had developed a robust processing system and a vibrant refugee settlement programme, with asylum seeker centres open 24 hours a day.

Nauru's Justice Minister David Adeang

Nauru Justice Minister David Adeang Photo: Supplied

However, Australia's Refugee Action Coalition said this was not true.

It said immigration authorities and the Australian contractor running the camps, Broadspectrum, had erected a fence across the road to prevent protests reaching, and blocking, the main gate to the Nauru family camp.

Access to Nauru is heavily restricted, with media representatives required to pay $US5000 as a non-refundable visa application fee.

New Zealand as well as Australian citizens also need a local sponsor, who risks jail if visa conditions are breached.

One foreign journalist, from the Australian, has been admitted since Nauru hiked the visa fee fortyfold two years ago. It is not known if that journalist was charged the visa application fee.

Protest on Nauru

Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

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